Death Traps, Death Traps, and More Death Traps!!!!

gollum

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This has been done before to some extent, but I have been asked by a couple of people to start a new Death Trap Thread.

Some of you may recognize some of the diagrams I have included as I have taken diagrams from a few different books that demonstrate the most common Death Traps used by the Spanish in the New World. As this is not for profit, and general knowledge, I can't imagine the books authors would be upset. I will reference the books as well. I know this is an International Forum, but the requests were from people here the USA, and that is where my experience lies. I have never seen a European, Middle Eastern, or Asian Death Trap, although I know they exist. Input from around the world is welcome here (like pictures of Japanese Poison Gas Grenades set in concrete in the Phillipines).

To begin, let's talk about a few terms that everybody should know:

1. Trap Rock/Boulder: This is the rock/boulder that actually does the crushing/blocking. Most of the Trap Boulders are between 25-40 tons.

2. Trip: This is the Rock, Timber, or any device used to set the Death Trap in motion.

3. Support: This is the Rock or Timber (usually rock) that supports the Trap Boulder until the trap is set in motion by our sucker.

4. Overburden: This is all the loose rock, sand, dirt, timbers, etc. that is piled up behind or over the Trap Boulder to further crush the sucker and make it look like a normal landslide, hiding everything and everybody underneath it.

5. S/S: This means Sign/Symbol. This would be the actual carving itself that says "Death Trap" It could be a coiled snake, a heart with separations carved in it, a skull, a lightning bolt, etc. The first diagrams show some of the Death Trap Signs/Symbols.

6. Sucker: The person with just enough knowledge to get themselves into trouble. The person who will be on the Bad End of the Death Traps in this thread.

7. caliche (ca-leech-ay): This is a sort of cement made from calcium carbonate and lime. This material occurs naturally. The Spanish saw this and realised they could make it and use it to seal shafts and hide small cracks.

The first pictures are some of the different Death Trap S/S:

The first Death Trap on the menu is the common Grande or Fool's Trap. This trap is designed to get the person who has a very basic knowledge of Spanish Mine Engineering. All they know is that HEART=GOLD. The point of the heart points to the place to dig. They don't know about the nuances of heart carving designs. How little changes can mean have huge differences in meaning. They wouldn't see the little separations at the base of the heart. The Spanish counted on people's greed overtaking their caution (and they were most often correct). The little separations mean that there is no treasure here, only a Death Trap waits under the Trap Rock.

The Sucker digs under the boulder looking for the gold. When they have dug far enough in, this allows the support to move slightly, allowing the Trap Boulder to fall and crush the Sucker. As the bolder falls, the overburden comes down right behind it. This covers up the entrance, and make it look like a normal landslide. Whoever has the map knows the location anyway!

The first diagram is from Mike Pickett's "Treasure Hunters Gield Notebook".
The second diagram is from "Death Traps to Treasures" by Charles Kenworthy.
 

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gollum

gollum

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The next Death Trap on our Menu del Muerte ;D is the Entranceway Trap. This little honey is built into the materials that hide or prevent access to the entranceway itself. I will show two (one with pictures) .

Here's how the first one works; There is a nice formal archway or entranceway, with a large rock at the top that looks like where the mine's name should be carved. The entrance itself is filled with Caliche, Sand, Dirt, Timbers, etc. The black wedges "1" are actually loose packed sand. As our sucker, with gold fever, starts clearing out the entrance to get inside, he doesn't notice that as the caliche is being ripped out, the sand starts leaving the wedge area "1". As the sand pours out, the upper supports drop down, releasing the Trap Boulder to fall on our sucker's head. There is usually tons of Overburden above and behind the Trap that will come tumbling down on top of the Trap and the Sucker, making it look like a normal landslide hiding everything until ....................

The diagram is from "The Treasure Hunters Field Guide" by Mike Pickett. I highly recommend it if you don't have it. It is a Treasure in itself. Mike is also a very nice man who will help you with interpretation if you print and send him your pictures.
 

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gollum

gollum

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First, I will cut and paste part of the story that will give basic knowledge about this Death Trap. It is from www.treasurehuntersuniversity.com I recommend this site for more information on Spanish Treasure Hunting.

"This last year, one of our own students went down to visit some friends in Mexico. While there, he did a little exploring on their property. After a couple days of exploratory treks, he discovered some large boulders with carved markings. Upon closer inspection,
he found that these were carved markings of snakes and circles. Some of the snakes pointed down and others were coiled. His curiosity increased. Now he began to look even closer, at the other boulders in the area.

A few yards below these snakes and circles, he came across a rather odd looking rock formation. To him, it didn‘t look like anything mother nature would have created. Propped against other support boulders was the carved head and shoulders “silhouette” of a man. crouching down as to lift something heavy. He also sees that the arm and leg
muscles have also been carved. On the left arm, there is a carved notch. Appearing to be where some kind of support was used, to keep the structure in place.

A couple of days later, he found an overgrown area of thick vegetation, rubble rock and a depression on the side of the one hill. This too did not look like the work of mother nature. (This area was approximately 50 yards to the left of the “silhouette”)

It took several days to clear away the vegetation and rubble rock. Under all the rubble rock, was a working Death trap. I will do the best I can, to describe their position and the workings of the trap. (After this photo was taken, the people working this site, decided to trip the trap and redirect the boulder downhill.)"


The first picture is the silhouette rock uphill from the Death Trap.

Next is tha actual Death Trap itself:

Here is Entranceway Death Trap #2 in picture.

1. Is the Trap Boulder

2. Is the "Death Mask" It is a rock carved into the shape of a face. It is notched to fit the Trap Boulder, and hold it in place.

3. is the Trip. It is a quadrilateral shaped rock beam about six feet in length that extends through the right wall of the mineshaft. It blocks the entrance to the mine.

4. Is the support. This is bedrock which, along with the notched "Death Mask" Rock balance the Trap Boulder. It also serves another purpose which I will describe later.

Here's how it works: Our sucker sees the mineshaft behind this big boulder.He is in such a hurry to get to the cache, he just races into the shaft. He finds his way blocked by the Trip. Being in a hurry to get to his fortune, he pushes the Trip out of his way. As he does this, the opposite end of the Trip moves the "Death Mask" rock, allowing the Trap Boulder to roll inward, blocking the entrance. Since the support is part of the bedrock, it prevents anyone (especially whoever is trapped inside) from pushing the boulder out from the entrance. The support would have to be broken up before the Trap Boulder can be moved. Impossible for one sucker inside the shaft (HINT! Don't go it alone!)!

The green lines are where the different rocks have been cut to fit.
 

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gollum

gollum

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NOW! Let's go inside. ALWAYS look right/left up/down for more s/s that may show Death Trap Locations. This is a kind of Trap Door Trap. The crevices that would give the trap's location away, are filled in with caliche so you wouldn't be able to see a thing. Walk carefully, and never put your weight on your lead foot.

This is from "Death Traps to Treasure" again:
 

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gollum

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When you get to the end of a tunnel, you may see the following Death Trap. Pretty Self-Explanatory, but, "C" is usually a box maybe empty, maybe not. When our sucker moves the box to look inside, the sand falls into the hole below the box, releasing the Trap Boulder to fall over and crush our sucker!

From Charles Kenworthy's "Death Traps to Treasure"
 

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gollum

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``
 

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gollum

gollum

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I know there are several more types of Death Traps and Symbols, but these should be enough to get anybody started.

Enjoy-Mike
 

Shortstack

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This needs to BOUNCE, BOUNCE, BOUNCE. back to the top for the new members.
 

bonuntr

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Anyone willing to post some photos of real working death traps they have found? If others will, I will join in with some of the very "verifiable" death traps I have photos of...(sorry no site descriptions though).
 

mdog

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Anyone willing to post some photos of real working death traps they have found? If others will, I will join in with some of the very "verifiable" death traps I have photos of...(sorry no site descriptions though).

I don't have any trap pictures because I've never run across any, but I'd like to see your pictures.
 
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here is a area where i belive a gold mine,or gold is hidden. it looks to me if you go moving the wrong stones around,your gonna bring a mass of stones raining down on you.i dont belive anyone could out run this slide. some great signs on this mountain. i found a shadow horse with two riders on this mountain side + the king. which i found out is the Jesuit sign, the horse with two riders.seen it on a sliver coin on line. what do you think? dosent look good to me. they really got this slope covered. must be something close. View attachment 711504
 

oddrock

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The two guys on one horse is also Knights Templar. (so say some)

Oddrock
 

Dixiegal

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In addition to caliche the Spanish used to mix clay and blood together to seal the final cap over a target.

The Spanish used water traps to kill you once you got into the target tunnel. They also were known to spread arsenic all over the gold so if you touched it you would be poisoned.

The KGC used water traps basically to deny you access. So if you were digging up a large cache and were not careful to dig slowly and find the marker rocks you could set off the trap and the area over and around the target would turn into a pond and you would never be able to dig the target up. They also used arsenic and occasionally gas sealed in bottles.
 

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